Author Topic: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)  (Read 27928 times)

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Offline roughneckrico

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Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« on: February 22, 2014, 11:07:01 »
Hello fellow serving members and vets.

My beginner question is the following:

What items, other than what is currently being given as standard issue, are must buys for going on a tour of duty outside Canada (Afghanistan, Africa, Middle East)?

So far I've been told by some peers to get the following:

-A good gps watch
-LED maglite mini
-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW)
-Swat style boots
-Stormproof lighter
-Blackhawk Canteen
-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack
-Water purification kit
-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber)
-Helmet liner

Is this stuff going to make work a little more comfortable or is this just a waste of money?

MikeL

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 11:26:42 »
Unless you are currently on pre deployment training, and know what kit is being issued, do not buy anything now, for a future/possible deployment - something you buy may be issued or not approved, etc. Seeing as you are a OCdt(according to your profile), I wouldn't recommend you buying anything until you are at least trades qualified, and have done a few exercises. Figure out what issue kit works/doesn't and you will have a good idea of what you need to replace/augment the issue kit.


As well, most items will be personal preference, such as boots, brand names for kit, etc.  Plus, what worked in one AO, may not work in another such as SWAT boots were good in the terrain typically covered by Canadians in Kandahar, but may suck in a future deployment that's AO is in the mountains. Plus, something may work for someone employed in one job, but may not work/not be required for another job.


-A good gps watch
Personally, I don't use a GPS watch. I like having a regular watch(Casio G-Shock) and a separate GPS(Garmin Foretrex 401). Plus, there is the DAGR that is issued.

-LED maglite mini
I prefer a Surefire with a red filter attachment, plus a Petzl head lamp.

-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW)
Goggles would probably be issued on future tours, like they were for Afghanistan(they were for my roto at least).

-Swat style boots
I like/use SWATs(in addition to my  Rocky S2Vs), but depending on the terrain/weather I may choose to go with something else. Boot preference will vary for each individual.

-Blackhawk Canteen
On tour, I just used a Camelbak, and 500ml water bottles that were dropped off on resupps to the COP. I also have some Nalgene water bottles, in addition to my Camelbak and 2qt canteen. My 1qt stays buried in a kitbag. A CADPAT bladder carrier and a Camelbak bladder are issue items as well.

-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack
I'd wait out, as future rigs issued for tour may include this.  For use with the current tac vest in Canada, if you want go for it, just don't wear a ruck over it(with bladder inside hydro pack). I prefer to carry my Camelbak bladder in my pack, and just have a canteen/nalgene in my tac vest.


-Water purification kit
If required, you would get it from your CQ/SQ.

-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber)
I just use the issue multitool, works fine for me.


-Helmet liner
What kind of liner?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 17:42:10 by Hoplite- »

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 11:27:48 »
-A good gps watch
Great idea

-LED maglite mini
bigger is better, you want to shine someone in the face and make them think they're looking at the sun.

-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW)
We're issued goggles

-Swat style boots
Good boots but also get destroyed pretty fast.

-Stormproof lighter
You'll use your lighter and be using matches out of a ration pack in no time.

-Blackhawk Canteen
Waste of money, you're issued a canteen which includes an adapter to use with your gasmask.

-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack
Better to stuff a canteen bladder inside a backpack. Hydration packs aren't usually big.

-Water purification kit
Couldn't hurt.

-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber)
any decent folding knife will work.

-Helmet liner
Great piece of kit

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Offline ballz

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 11:30:06 »
Hello fellow serving members and vets.

My beginner question is the following:

What items, other than what is currently being given as standard issue, are must buys for going on a tour of duty outside Canada (Afghanistan, Africa, Middle East)?

So far I've been told by some peers to get the following:

-A good gps watch
-LED maglite mini
-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW)
-Swat style boots
-Stormproof lighter
-Blackhawk Canteen
-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack
-Water purification kit
-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber)
-Helmet liner

Is this stuff going to make work a little more comfortable or is this just a waste of money?

Every person's "must have's" are different depending on their job, how they like to do their job, and their own personal preferences. If you buy everything that people mention, you will certainly end up wasting quite a bit of money.


For example, I bought a pair of NEOs 4 years ago because everyone was crazy about how awesome NEOs were, especially in the Gagetown training area... I still haven't used them for more than a day. I also bought a Tac-Vest attachable hydration pack as you have listed, and haven't really used it (don't even know where the bladder is to be honest). I bought a SOG Seal pup knife, a SOG Trident folder, and a Leatherman Wave multi-tool.... I use the Leatherman... I stopped taking the other two out to the field.

Best thing to do is wait until you've got some field ex's under your belt and start realizing "damn, I wish I had something for...." and then start looking for a product to fill your need.

Despite all the gucci stuff I've bought, I am now realizing I would really like a field watch that will give me a quick point to North (not a GPS, just a quick point to North)... if only I had the money I've wasted on gucci kit, I could buy two of those watches.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 11:52:29 »
My opinion:

-A good gps watch is a waste of money.  Buy a good cheap watch that you will not mind breaking and replacing with another cheap watch.
-LED maglite mini is one of the most often purchased items, along with a headlamp.
-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW) Why buy when they are issued?
-Swat style boots will be a personal preference if you want, but wait out and see what will be issued.
-Stormproof lighter only if you are a smoker.  Not being one, why would you need one?
-Blackhawk Canteen You are issued several types.  Why waste money on something that is issued you?
-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack is again a personal preference, as to whether or not you will need one.
-Water purification kit only if you see a requirement.  There usually is none. 
-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber) You are issued a Gerber.  Do you need two?
-Helmet liner Is a waste of money.  Not needed.

You sound like a Cadet going on a camping trip. 


« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 11:55:28 by George Wallace »
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Offline roughneckrico

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 12:14:17 »
Unless you are currently on pre deployment training, and know what kit is being issued do not buy anything now, for a future deployment - something you buy may be issued or not approved, etc. Seeing as you are a OCdt(according to your profile), I wouldn't recommend you buying anything until you are at least trades qualified, and have done a few exercises. Figure out what issue kit works/doesn't and you will have a good idea of what you need to replace/augment the issue kit.


As well, most items will be personal preference, such as boots, brand names for kit, etc.  Plus, what worked in one AO, may not work in another such as SWAT boots were good in the terrain typically covered by Canadians in Kandahar, but may suck in a future deployment that's AO is in the mountains.


-A good gps watch
Personally, I don't use a GPS watch. I like having a regular watch(Casio G-Shock) and a separate GPS(Garmin Foretrex 401). Plus, there is the DAGR that is issued.

-LED maglite mini
I prefer a Surefire with a red filter attachment, plus a Petzl head lamp.

-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW)
Goggles would probably be issued, like they were for Afghanistan(they were for my roto at least).

-Swat style boots
I like/use SWATs(in addition to my  Rocky S2Vs), but depending on the terrain/weather I may choose to go with something else.

-Blackhawk Canteen
On tour, I just used the issue Camelbak, and 500ml water bottles that were dropped off on resupps to the COP. I also have some Nalgene water bottles, in addition to the issue Camelbak and 2qt canteen. My 1qt stays buried in a kitbag.

-Tacvest attachable Hydration pack
I'd wait out, as future rigs issued for tour may include this.  For use with the current tac vest in Canada, if you want go for it, just don't wear a ruck over it(with bladder inside hydro pack). I prefer to carry my Camelbak bladder in my pack, and just have a canteen/nalgene in my tac vest.


-Water purification kit
If required, you would get it from your CQ/SQ(I assume).


-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber)
I just use the issue multitool, works fine for me.


-Helmet liner
What kind of liner?  Like the old PASGT style foam liner/donut? Never used it/never had the urge to buy one either. If you are talking about helmet pads, might want to make sure your CoC is ok with it, AFAIK they are verboten as they supposedly don't work well with our helmet(our helmet requires stand off between the helmet and your skull).

Thanks for the quick replies.

Some of the mentioned items I already had or bought before joining the forces for hiking and what not. I included them in the list simply to understand if taking them with me would a be advisable or not.

Here are the items I already have and my take on them:

-Blackhawk Canteen (Cost $15) - Made by Nalgene, does not retain taste when used with juice, energy drinks. The standard gas mask cap fitting fits on it perfect. Was able to get one at no cost. Fits great in the side pocket of my MEC 80L expedition pack.

-LED maglite mini (cost $30) - has 4 light functions (bright, low, flashing, SOS), the filter kits fits on it (red, blue). Had the Xenon one before, this one is much brighter and battery lasts longer.

-Protective Goggles (Ex. Smith OTW) ($40) - Found them on sale when shopping for ski goggles, bought them for backcountry, work better than my ski goggles for anitscratch and hitting branches.

-Delta Stormproof lighter ($50) - Always worked all the time while camping hiking, kick *** lighter. only pain is refilling it with butane quadruple refined lighter fluid.

-Medium-sized folding knife (Gerber Swagger) ($14)- I've had two of these, the tip of the blade is easy to break off, probably shouldn't of been using it the way I was. Great little knife.
-Swiss Army Knife - Fireman ($40) - Bought this 10 years ago. Started rusting a little this year, MEC replaced at no cost to me. Great knife, downside is no pliers.

-Fleece helmet liner ($8) Canex - Just a liner that goes under the helmet when in the cold doing ruck march. So far so good, keeps my ears warm.


Would you bring any of these with you?
You all seem to agree on the watch, therefore what watch would you recommend (Timex expedition, Casio pro trek...)?
Lastly, what headlamp works well with the issued helmet/headwear?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 12:19:58 by roughneckrico »

MikeL

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 12:20:55 »
-Fleece helmet liner ($8) Canex - Just a liner that goes under the helmet when in the cold doing ruck march. So far so good, keeps my ears warm.
Oh, ok seen a few people with them before.

Would you bring any of these with you? You all seem to agree on the watch, therefore what watch would you recommend (Timex expedition, Casio pro trek...)?

Watch recommendations vary,  there is a whole thread with all kinds of recommendations
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=1953.0


Lastly, what headlamp works well with the issued helmet/headwear?

Any one really, get one with just the single band that goes horizontal - the ones with the vertical band that goes over the top of your head, would interfere with a NVG mount. Get a headlamp that has a filter on it, not the kind with the first on setting is white light, and you have to click it again for red.  I like Petzl Tactikka Plus headlamps.

http://www.cpgear.com/store/flas/petzl_tactikka_plus_headlamp.htm
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 17:30:06 by Hoplite- »

Offline stealthylizard

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 16:59:27 »
Camelbacks were issued on my deployment, as were mini-mag lites, and headlamps.  My recommendation, that has nothing to do really with kit, entertainment.  You will get bored, soon, and often.  I don't have any suggestions, as it depends on where you are deployed.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 17:13:59 »
As some of the above have stated.....at your level, do not even bother with any of that crap, save it for your camping weekends on your own time. A switched on SQ/CQ can order/LPO 90% of the Gucci kit you need, and anyways right now you do not know what you need anyways.

Here's a summary of what you can actually get from the good ole CFSS.

Headlamps - system
Camelbak - system
Knives/multi-tools - system
Water purification system - system (puritabs at lease, but in 11 years soldiering I've never EVER needed one, just saying. If you're in a position to need to purify your own water your last worry will be montezumas revenge, you should be making best speed back to a friendly unit)
Helmet liner - well ok, canex, but why pay to look like a knob. If your ears are cold on a ruck march then you aren't marching fast enough.
Maglites - system

As for your 'stormproof' lighter, good luck taking that on tour, when you run out of butane and the 1L canister you thought you'd refill it with got seized at the airhead as it was Dangerous Air Cargo and you can't get lighter butane in a FOB in some 3rd world craphole (where you can buy cheap Chinese lighters for pennies anyways), you'll be SOL, and anyways, you should stop smoking to begin with, terrible habit.


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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 17:16:16 »
+1 for the Petzl Tactikka headlamp recommendation. Baby Wipes. You might consider a small battery-powered electric razor, which beats both shaving with cold water or singing your eyebrows when the immersion heater flares up (although I realize you're interested in "warm climate" ops).

Offline BorisK

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 18:09:40 »
On the lighter side : http://youtu.be/BDJNE9oMjdk

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 18:14:09 »
Combat Boots-Syetem
Winter Boots-System
Uniforms-System

 ;D
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2014, 18:16:15 »
Combat Boots-Syetem
Winter Boots-System

Does that imply that our supply system actually has kit to give us?  >:D

Offline LunchMeat

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2014, 18:34:56 »
Don't be that guy lugging around Gucci non-issue stuff on your DP1 (basic level quals). You'll get laughed at and then jacked up. You're far from a "tour of duty".

The only thing I purchased were the elastic-velcro blousing straps for my pants. They're awesome and harder to lose unlike the metal hook bootbands
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2014, 18:48:00 »
Don't be that guy lugging around Gucci non-issue stuff on your DP1 (basic level quals). You'll get laughed at and then jacked up. You're far from a "tour of duty".

The only thing I purchased were the elastic-velcro blousing straps for my pants. They're awesome and harder to lose unlike the metal hook bootbands

Ah!  And I was going to tell him to bring his tennis racket and golf clubs.   :(
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2014, 19:53:51 »
Well, I took my Tuxedo on both of my tours, so why not?

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2014, 19:56:06 »
 :rofl:
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2014, 20:45:25 »
Well, I took my Tuxedo on both of my tours, so why not?
But your Air you only stay 4 star or above.
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2014, 21:01:23 »
But your Air you only stay 4 star or above.
:dude:

Seriously, listen the advice of the senior members here. The kit you're issued these days is much better than when I was a grunt. The best part is that there is all sorts of new kit coming online. Don't waste your money until you see what you can carry and what's provided.
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2014, 21:25:48 »
Two things:

Well trained and self disciplined.

Kit is only 50% of the battle.


Good attitude and being a good team member is important....more important than kit.

Be that guy.
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2014, 21:34:47 »
Real life bears little resemblance to TV or movies.

Stick with the boot bands. Your a long, long, long, long way from a tour.
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2014, 21:55:50 »
But your Air you only stay 4 star or above.

Hardly.

Offline roughneckrico

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 23:46:39 »
On the lighter side : http://youtu.be/BDJNE9oMjdk

Awesome! Where can you buy this stuff.  ;D

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2014, 23:47:59 »
Ah!  And I was going to tell him to bring his tennis racket and golf clubs.   :(

Don't tempt me. lol

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Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 23:48:43 »
Awesome! Where can you buy this stuff.  ;D

Found mine at lapolicegear.com.  Lol
Got it when I bought a flashlight and some 'tactical balls' as a joke for my buddy who plays paintball.

Bacon was actually pretty good.  Haha

Offline roughneckrico

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2014, 23:49:59 »
Two things:

Well trained and self disciplined.

Kit is only 50% of the battle.


Good attitude and being a good team member is important....more important than kit.

Be that guy.

I will take that to heart. Thanks.

Offline trustnoone73

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2014, 02:34:20 »
What items, other than what is currently being given as standard issue, are must buys for going on a tour of duty outside Canada (Afghanistan, Africa, Middle East)?

Is PEI going somewhere?

As a mounted officer, none on the list are must haves.  Good radio orders, staedtlers (in the system or your gunner will find you some), and a robust coffee cup.   A decent folding belt knife is a nice to have.

I love Zeke Anderson as much as the next man, but 'tour' will suffice. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 02:39:43 by trustnoone73 »
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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2014, 07:34:53 »
Don't tempt me. lol

Well let me tempt you, judging by your username, roughneckrico, seems to be a play on Rico's Roughnecks from Starship Troopers. Bring a copy of Starship Troopers.  You can use it for a multitude of things from starting a reading group to helping start a fire, or emergency toliet paper.

My point being anything you bring can be diverted to satisfy a variety of needs

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2014, 07:56:42 »
Also...Nobody calls it a "tour of duty"

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2014, 09:31:50 »
Add these

Snugpak Softie jacket
big 7"+ fixed blade knife
regimental flag
books
Garmin 401 Fortrex GPS

If you're issued a pistol, buy a few pistol mags. You'll loose a couple rounds but they'll work better.

All set.
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Offline roughneckrico

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2014, 09:43:38 »
Is PEI going somewhere?

As a mounted officer, none on the list are must haves.  Good radio orders, staedtlers (in the system or your gunner will find you some), and a robust coffee cup.   A decent folding belt knife is a nice to have.

I love Zeke Anderson as much as the next man, but 'tour' will suffice.

Oh zeke...Deployment perhaps would be more PC.  :camo:


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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2014, 09:47:16 »
Well let me tempt you, judging by your username, roughneckrico, seems to be a play on Rico's Roughnecks from Starship Troopers. Bring a copy of Starship Troopers.  You can use it for a multitude of things from starting a reading group to helping start a fire, or emergency toliet paper.

My point being anything you bring can be diverted to satisfy a variety of needs

I think that ST would go without saying, lol.

Just waiting for my deployment to an asteroid where I can blast some bugs.  ;D

Offline roughneckrico

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2014, 10:19:18 »
Add these

Snugpak Softie jacket
big 7"+ fixed blade knife
regimental flag
books
Garmin 401 Fortrex GPS

If you're issued a pistol, buy a few pistol mags. You'll loose a couple rounds but they'll work better.

All set.

I'll have to wait and see what is issued, I may already have the mags (If its a M1911). Otherwise, a few books might be the priority.

MikeL

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2014, 10:31:24 »
I may already have the mags (If its a M1911).

The CAF does not issue the M1911. The Browning Hi Power and Sig P225/226 are issued, and are 9mm.

Offline ballz

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2014, 11:37:33 »
I like Petzl Tactikka Plus headlamps.

http://www.cpgear.com/store/flas/petzl_tactikka_plus_headlamp.htm

Just because I can't avoid a conversation about kit...

I have that headlamp but went out and bought a cheaper Petzl that I find works better for the army.

It has a filter, like you said, important for not having to switch through 3 white lights to get to your red.

But instead of brightness settings that you have to click your way through like the on the headlamp you posted, it has an "on/off" switch. Much more convenient for doing link-ups / light recognition. It was hard to find a Petzl that was that "simple," but its perfect.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Must haves for tour of duty (new to forces)
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2014, 11:41:21 »
I'll have to wait and see what is issued, I may already have the mags (If its a M1911). Otherwise, a few books might be the priority.

Given you don't even know what we use for a service sidearm, it'll be a long time before you go anywhere. When you're ready to deploy, come back with some specifics about it and get some answers then.

There are lots of threads about different equipment here that you can read for turning yourself into a kit *****.

We're not going to waste bandwith on your hypothetical dreams.

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